Youth: Just Log Off

Last month, a promising 18-year-old from Tianjin?given the pseudonym Zhang Nanxing by Chinese newspapers?arrived to start his first year at a university in the northeast. Within days, he was arrested on charges of armed robbery and attempted rape. Seeking money to fund his hours in Internet cafs, Zhang allegedly stole mobile phones and cash from two girls, then attempted to imitate what he'd learned surfing pornographic websites.

Internet addiction?an obsession with online games, chatrooms and pornography?is an increasingly recognized problem in ultrawired societies like South Korea. But widespread web access is relatively new in China, and there's been...

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